Why automation is a key tool for successful fitness clubs

Marketing automation is one of the most powerful tools your fitness club can use to improve efficiency and lead conversion for your business.

Put simply, marketing automation is all about reducing the amount of repetitive, manual tasks you perform by using gym sales and marketing software that can automate those processes for you. That email you send to a hundred different leads each day following up on their free membership trial? No need! Once an automation system is set up, it will do that (and so much more) automatically for you, as often as you want it to.
Here, we’ll unpack how using a range of automation tools found in a gym CRM system like GymLeads, can help take your fitness club to the next level.

Lead capturing and conversion

You might have heard marketers throw around the term ‘sales funnel’. A funnel refers to the different stages a potential customer (known as a lead) goes through before they commit to making a purchase. This can include everything from seeing your Facebook ad for the first time, to subscribing to your email list, or coming into the gym for a trial session. The process from first capturing a lead at the top of the funnel to getting them right through to the bottom of the funnel is called conversion, and without an automation system it can be a very time-consuming and messy process to navigate.
Smaller fitness clubs often manually keep track of leads using an Excel spreadsheet (or even Post-it notes!), which is inefficient and creates the potential for human error. An automation system automatically pulls all your leads into the one centralised place, no matter which digital channel they’re coming in from.

But automating this process using gym CRM software has other benefits, even for larger fitness clubs who have more resources at their disposable. Automating lead capture will provide you with consistent and optimised communications, which will increase conversion rates and help you track which of your lead nurture tactics are most effective. Plus, you don’t need to worry about teaching new staff your manual lead capture and nurture processes, giving you peace of mind and saving you time in the long run.

Bulk communications, personalisation and segmentation

Bulk emails and SMSes are undoubtedly the most efficient way for a fitness club to contact a large chunk of leads or members. They are perfect for conveying a simple message that is relevant to the vast majority of people in the database, such as a discount on memberships or changes to club opening hours. The downside? Bulk communications can come across as impersonal and feel less engaging than if you’ve been contacted independently. But there is a way to simulate a one-on-one interaction with a lead, while still making use of the benefits of a bulk send. This is known as personalisation.

Personalisation can be as simple as starting an email by using the person’s first name, as opposed to something generic like ‘valued member’. While this sounds easy in theory, without automation it would be extremely tedious, as you’d have to manually send every email and edit each name individually. And there would be a risk that your communications would contain errors or inconsistencies, especially if different staff were picking up the task each day.

Using automation, you can set fields in your emails or SMSes (such as first name, membership number or really any data field you have access to) and it will automatically populate into your template, sending a personalised version of the same communication to everyone in your database.

Segmentation can take this one step further. Using segmentation, you can target specific people or groups within your database with information that you think will be most relevant for them. For example, you could set up an automated template that is sent to anyone who attends a yoga class, with tips for improving their practice and information about upcoming classes at your club.


An auto-responder tool can send an email or SMS to a lead in response to an action they’ve performed, often referred to as a trigger. A common example of a trigger is a lead filling out an enquiry form on your website or signing up to an email database.

Small clubs might have less leads or members contacting them, but they will also likely have less customer service staff available around the clock to respond to enquiries. While larger clubs are more likely to have dedicated customer service teams, they will also have a lot more leads coming in, meaning there is a greater chance of a backlog building up.

An auto-responder serves the dual purpose of letting a lead know that their enquiry has been received, but also what to expect next. At a basic level, an auto-response will normally thank the lead for their message and tell them how and when you will contact them in response to their enquiry. It’s best to personalise auto-responses as much as possible using names and any other details you have available, but even an obviously automated reply is better than no reply at all. At a minimum, your lead will feel valued and acknowledged and you’ll come across as reliable by setting expectations for them. The timeliness of an automated response means that your communication is reaching your lead at a moment when they are highly engaged with your club, which will set your relationship in good stead for the future.

Most importantly, don’t be put off by all the jargon that sometimes comes along with automation and gym sales and management software. GymLeads’ system is simple to use, meaning once we’ve helped you set up your automations, you can just sit back, relax and watch your membership numbers climb.


Are you a gym owner looking to learn more about automated software for fitness centres? GymLeads CRM system is an automated sales and marketing pipeline, designed specifically for the fitness industry. Our expertly designed, intuitive software helps you capture, convert and communicate to your leads and members in the simplest way possible. Find out more or book a demo today.